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Oman lays off more than 45,000 expats from construction sector this year

The significant drop in expat workers in the sector has helped the government to offer employment to hundreds of nationals.

TAS News Service
Oct 2, 2019 3:30 pm

As many as 47,597 expatriate workers in the construction sector lost their jobs in Oman in the first eight months of 2019, according to the figures released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The significant drop in expat workers in the sector has helped the government to offer employment to hundreds of nationals. 

The substantial drop in expat workers comes after the government imposed a visa ban on 87 professions that also includes the construction sector. Oman introduced the expat visa bans in January 2018 for a six-month period for certain professions. There have been four extensions since then and it has also been expanded to cover other industries and professions – during that time tens of thousands of Omanis have found work. 

“There is a fall of 11.5 per cent in construction sector alone. This (drop) has certainly helped hundreds of Omani job seekers to earn employment in private sector companies. In the coming months, many more will find suitable placements as well,” said a senior official at Ministry of Manpower. 

Significant progress 

Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector, the number of expat workers has been reduced to 200,302 with 4.8 per cent fall as 6,561 workers left the country.

Foreign workers in electricity, gas, steam and air-conditions supply segments have now been reduced to a total of 992 in August this year, the NCSI data shows.

Agriculture and fishing registered a massive 16.3 per cent drop during the period to reach 74,684 expat workers, the mining and quarrying sector witnessed a fall of 5.6 per cent to reach 17,025 workers.

“With the structural transformation that the Omani economy is undergoing, the private sector has been making significant progress and becoming the main recipient of workforce entrants,” a report from the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) said. 

The total number of foreign workers in the Sultanate stood at 1,766,621 in April this year against 1,787,447, with a 3.8 per cent fall during the corresponding month last year. 

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